During in the 1970s, when the Russia was the biggest threat to America and radical Islam was not as a concern of the USA’s, the USA began funding and training Islamic militants to fight our Russian enemies in Afghanistan.
These militants, known as the mujahideen would rebel the Russians out of Afghanistan and later become the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the most prominent members of he mujahideen was a wealthy son of a Saudi Arabian businessman named Osama Bin Laden.
National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski visited Afganistan in 1979 and met with Bin Laden and even took a picture with him. Brzezinski would tell the mujahideen
We know of their deep belief in God, and we are confident their struggle will succeed. That land over there is yours, you’ll go back to it one day because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes and your mosques back again. Because your cause is right and God is on your side.
Former British Foreign secretary, Robin Cook said:
Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan.
Several other authors, journalists and statesmen have all made the claim that Bin Laden was funded, armed and trained by the CIA to fight off the Russians.
After Ronald Reagan was elected in 1981, U.S. funding of the mujahideen increased significantly and CIA Paramilitary Officers played a big role in training, arming and sometimes even leading mujahideen forces.
The CIA trained the mujahideen in many of the tactics Al Qaeda is known for today, such as car bombs, assassinations and other acts that would be considered terrorism today.
The U.S.A. would fund Gulbuddin Hekmatyar a mujahideen leader and alleged heroin dealer who worked closely with Bin Laden. Hekmaytyar and his political party/paramilitary group would receive more than $600 million from the USA. Author, Alfred McCoy, would claim that the CIA supported Hekmatyar in his illicit heroin trade to allow him to fund the mujahideen.Like Bin Laden, Hekmatyar has also become an enemy of the U.S., waging a war against coalition forces in Afghanistan after 2001.
America must learn from the foreign policy mistakes of our past. These mistakes have lead to the creation of our enemies, such as Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noreaga, and Osama Bin Laden. The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend, most often they become our enemies too. As America gives aid to rebels in Libya and other countries we must be cautious not to create another Bin Laden.